Asked on 23 May 2018
It's ok to buy directly from companies (claims wise this applies too) if
1) you know in great detail what you're buying/ doing - in terms of how much to get, what to get, when can claim and how to claim, what's the pros and cons of the product, whether the product is suitable, whether you'll change your mind after 10 years about the product
2) don't mind paying same price for the lack of personal touch
3) ok to wait over customer service hotlines or visit insurance offices if you need to get things done
4) your family is as savvy as you in knowing what to do when things happen and need to get claims up
Do note only selected products can be purchased directly. Important ones like integrated shield plans, savings plans and investments you'll still have to go through the agent or banker.
Buy directly if possible. Same as investment.
Be it directly or agent, you have to be prudent and have some knowledge to read the clauses and know what you are covered for. Nobody is going to know you better than yourself. You need to know what you need and what you do not need.
Do not let anyone tell you that it is complicated and makes you feel uncertain of your decisions. There is so much information in the Internet that the only hurdle is laziness.
To conclude, yes it is okay to buy insurance from companies directly. I will do the same when it comes to claiming insurance. Imagine the scenario where your agent no longer works, the company will assign you another agent. It will be the same when you buy directly, they will assign you an agent. the only BIG different is, you pay the agent's salary when you buy from them. So, why spend more when both achieve the same goal?
The advantages of having an agent is that in the event of a claim
your agents can advice on things to state or avoid during the claim process
Process all your documents for you
provides advice on what do or avoid during the occurrence of the event
buying direct is cheaper but you need to know all the TnC very clearly and in the event that you need heavy assistance you only have the customer service officer
Usually when you buy an insurance product directly from an Insurer, you will still be assigned an Agent from the insurer. (Unless this is a DP policy)
There will not be an price differences when you buy directly inbranch or via agent.
However i strongly encourage you to think about the following things
1) Personal product knowledge
Would you be adequate enough in knowledge to buy the product or an industry expert who have good statistic and information to assist you. Of course the reliablity of the expert should be one of the top concern.
2) Convenient of search
Imagine you want to spread the risk and put all your insurance coverage in different companies as they might be better in different product catagory, would you want to run around and hunt yourself. An Agent who represent all companies might help alot in consolidating comparison for you
Agent are paid via commission for every deals they make. But the true test of it comes from the claims assistance. A good agent will assist you in ensuring your financial well-being are covered in times you need and ensure claims are paid swifty.
Agents are not the ones who process the claims.
They are also not legally obligated to help you with your claims.
Dont believe the fear mongering by agents.